Paris: Russia has said removal of President Bashar al-Assad from power will do nothing to end the 19-month old civil war in Syria but it will only escalate the violence.
"It is like daydreaming to speculate on the subject, to the effect that if the [Syrian] government is overthrown everything will fall into place," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after meeting his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
"If this is a priority for somebody, bloodshed will continue, and for quite a while, too...Assad`s fate should be decided by the Syrian people," he added.
Lavrov said there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict as mercenaries fighting on the side of the Syrian insurgents keep arriving in the country from neighbouring states.
Western powers have condemned Russia and China for their repeated refusal to back UN sanctions against Assad regime, which the UN has accused of complicity in the massacre of unarmed civilians.
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed earlier this year not to allow a repeat of last year`s "Libya scenario”, which saw the ouster and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign.